Milan 3-2 Inter: Rafael Leao joins 100 club in style with Derby della Madonnina double

·4-min read

Rafael Leao marked his 100th Serie A appearance in style with a derby double to help Milan beat Inter 3-2 at San Siro.

The Portuguese winger added an assist into the bargain as he proved to be the class act on display, having stayed at Milan amid recent interest from Chelsea.

Leao's efforts allowed Milan to score a second successive league derby win over their city rivals, with whom they share the famous stadium. It is the first time they have achieved this since first time since the 2010-11 season, when Milan won their first two league derbies under Massimiliano Allegri.

Olivier Giroud also scored as Scudetto holders Milan took the Derby della Madonnina honours, with Marcelo Brozovic and Edin Dzeko getting the goals for Inter.

Milan's defence splintered in the 21st minute to allow Brozovic a clear run on goal, with the midfielder taking on a throughball from Joaquin Correa and slotting into the bottom-left corner.

Eight minutes later, Leao came up with Milan's equaliser, a left-footed shot that arrowed across Handanovic, who got a fingertip to the ball but could not prevent it finding the right corner.

Sandro Tonali, Theo Hernandez, Charles De Ketelaere and Giroud threatened as Milan stepped up their game before half-time, gaining the upper hand.

It was Giroud who put them ahead in the 54th minute, with Leao's cross from close to the left touchline finding the French striker who send a bobbling shot across Handanovic and into the net. The goalkeeper should have done better.

Inter's defence could hang their heads in shame at the defending that allowed Leao to saunter through to fire his second and Milan's third goal in the 60th minute. The forward's nimble footwork was impressive, but the absence of a tackle was embarrassing.

There was a lifeline for the Nerazzurri when Dzeko cracked in Matteo Darmian's low centre, and Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan kicked away another shot from the Bosnian as Inter searched in vain for an equaliser.

What does it mean? Milan take bragging rights

Stefano Pioli's spent plenty of time atop Serie A in their championship-winning campaign last time out, and this victory took them back to the summit, at least briefly.

It was an imperfect performance, but Leao's quality shone through and took Milan to 11 points from five games, two points better off than an Inter side who have now lost twice this term.

There could have been a sting in the tail, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan's 25-yard blast went just wide, to relief in the Rossoneri camp.

Leao lethal scores a first

Leao became the first Portuguese player to score in a Milan derby, and his timing could hardly have been any better.

He now has 17 assists in Serie A, the most by any player born from 1999 onwards, and moved to second in the goals stakes among such players after taking his tally to 26 and going one ahead of Andrea Pinamonti.

Dusan Vlahovic (55) leads the way in goals in that age group.

Dzeko shows class is permanent

Simone Inzaghi sent on Dzeko shortly after Milan's third goal, and three minutes later his near-post run was rewarded with a goal, his years of knowhow paying off.

At the age of 36 years and 170 days, the former Manchester City and Roma frontman became Inter's oldest scorer against Milan in Serie A (overtaking Walter Samuel, 34 years and 198 days).

Key Opta Facts

- Milan have scored at least three goals in a Milan derby in all competitions for the first time since January 31, 2016, in Serie A.

- Milan have won two consecutive Serie A matches against Inter for the first time since 2011 (the first two Derbies under Massimiliano Allegri).

- Milan have won six Serie A home games in a row for the first time since August 2014.

- Inter have lost two consecutive Serie A away matches for the first time since March 2020 (under Antonio Conte).

What's next?

The Champions League beckons, with Milan away to Salzburg on Tuesday and Inter hosting Bayern on Wednesday. Their next Serie A assignments see Milan travel to Sampdoria on Saturday, while Inter take on Torino at San Siro on the same day.